The port city of Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico is an enticing alternative to Mexico’s more popular tourist destinations. It’s steeped in history, and you’ll have a far more authentic experience. Its hotel scene lacks the razzle-dazzle of the resort-heavy cities, but you’ll still find a charming place to rest your head.
The Hotel Veracruz, with its pastel-pink exterior and colonial stylings, is a charming retreat in the city center. Its rooms are basic, but come with all the necessities you will need if you’re planning on spending most of your time exploring the city. For extra comfort, you could upgrade to the penthouse, which has a balcony, separate living space and a whirlpool tub in the bathroom. All guests can take advantage of the dipping pool, lobby bar and Son Jarocho restaurant, which serves up local flavors with views over the city.
A short stroll from the port waters, Hotel Baluarte is a three-star retreat offering a whole lot of bang for your peso. Soak up the rays lazing on the pool terrace or rest those achy muscles in the hydromassage tub and spa. Many of the 105 guest rooms come with lovely city views, while all come with (often much-needed) air conditioning. Directly opposite the hotel stands the Baluarte de Santiago, a burly defensive bastion finished in 1635, which is now a museum displaying a collection of pre-Columbian gold trinkets.
Veracruz may not be Mexico’s top beach destination – that’s a hard-fought title – but a stay in Fiesta Inn certainly brings playa life to your vacation. The hotel sits right on the sands, but perhaps more tempting is the hotel pool with its views over the Gulf of Mexico and onto the Isla de Sacrificios. Its contemporary rooms come with muted tones and hardwood furnishings; book an oceanfront room for views out to sea. Should you want to explore, the property is in the heart of Boca del Río, home of the World Trade Center Veracruz.
A cathedral-like lobby furnished with parota-wood benches and stylish wicker chairs is your grand introduction to this surprisingly homey hotel. Once you get past that cavernous entrance, you’ll find comfortable, contemporary rooms with understated decor and flashes of Mexican color. For a little grandeur, opt for the master suite, which comes with sea views and a whirlpool. The hotel also has an indoor pool with a palapa bar. Hop on a free shuttle service and you’ll be taken to the Beach Club, which has two pools and a bar right on the sands.
What it lacks in pomp and luxury features the Hotel Oriente makes up for in buckets with its location and affordability. Its guest rooms are understated, but come with everything you need. There’s also a cute cafe with outside seating. The beachside promenade, El Malecon, is just a five-minute walk from the front door, while the San Juan de Ulúa fort is a five-minute car ride away.
Overlooking El Malecon, the Fiesta Inn sits on prime real estate, just a five-minute walk to the historical center and close to the Aquarium and San Juan de Ulúa. Its contemporary rooms are unfussy and decorated in neutral cream colors; be sure to ask for harbor views when you book. On sweltering Veracruz days, head to the pool courtyard to splash around or catch some rays on one of the sunloungers.
The stoic facade of the Hotel Indigo belies the true charm of this boutique, in the business district of Boca del Río. Its decor is inspired by its surroundings: images of the old Veracruz lighthouse welcome you into the building, while the white drapes are inspired by the dresses of the local jarocha dancers. Those same dancers can be seen in a long photo mural on the wall of La Bamba bistro, where you can also enjoy a menu of Mexican delights.
The heart of the pleasingly pastel-yellow Real del Mar is undoubtedly its colonial-style inner courtyard. Here lies an inviting dipping pool with sunken loungers and a pretty garden space. Its other main draw is its dreamy location overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. You just need to pop across the road to relax on the sands of Playa Villa del Mar. The rooms are basic, but sleep up to four – make sure to ask for an ocean view when you book.